The two major events in the telecoms market this year are likely to be the creation of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and further development of Tele2 in Russia.
MNP process was started but has not yet been finalised.
The sector is transforming rapidly, with the likely outcome being increased revenues from mobile data services and Value-Added Services (VAS) and a simultaneous decline in revenue from voice services. All four major companies – VimpelCom, MTS, Megafon and Rostelecom – have been granted licenses for the construction of LTE networks in Russia. 3G coverage also continues to grow.
In March 2013 Russian VTB bank purchased Swedish mobile operator Tele2’s Russian affiliate. The deal came as a total surprise to investors and to Russian mobile operators that were ready to offer significantly higher prices for the asset. Although VTB has stated that it will consider all offers for potential collaboration. The Russian market believes that the only real candidate for the alliance is Rostelecom. The shape of the potential association is not clear and we do not expect any respective progress until Rostelecom finalises its reorganisation (2014). However, the potential creation of a fourth mobile operator presents a major threat to the existing mobile companies.
Oleg Volpin is the VP of Russia & CIS at Amdocs.